Pitching for inclusive economic growth to reduce the widening gap between the rich and the poor, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan today said development at the cost of culture is not sustainable.
Quoting BJP ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, she said, "Integral humanism is the basis for development as it espouses indigenous economic model that puts the human being at the centre stage."
Addressing the South Asian Speakers summit here on Sustainable Development Goals, Mahajan said first and foremost is the citizen and no development is possible and sustainable, unless it has a human face.
"Our past tells us how civilisational strengths may steer us through the contemporary challenges," she said, adding, "I strongly feel that development at the cost of our culture is not sustainable."
On Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), she said inclusive and broad-based economic growth has to be promoted to reduce the widening gap between the rich and the poor.
At the same time, ensuring effective delivery of schemes which target people at the bottom of the socio-economic strata go a long way in eradicating poverty and achieving the very first goal.
She also mentioned that India is expected to incur an expenditure of about USD 565 billion per annum in the next 15 years to achieve SDGs.
Mahajan further said these goals lay emphasis on achieving a balance between the three pillars of economic growth, social development and environmental protection.
"I personally feel that this approach somehow was very much required in our contemporary growth and development strategy. This is very close to the philosophy of life that our region has espoused for in last several centuries," Mahajan said.
Stressing on the role of parliamentarians as the bridge between people and their government, the eight-time MP said, "As elected representatives, it is our duty to ensure that our respective governments take concrete measures for realising these sustainable development goals."
On the issue of discrimination against girl child, Mahajan said there is an urgent need for continuous efforts to promote the welfare of the girl child.
Elimination of child marriage, access to reproductive healthcare facilities and overall emphasis on hygiene and personal care of women are some of the critical areas which need to be concentrated on, she added.